A riveting climax. Embla, still plagued by nightmares about losing her teenage best friend, is a sharp, willful, though emotionally vulnerable detective. Fans of the Huss novels in particular and Nordic noir in general will want to follow this series from its start.
... a solid and absorbing story ... Tursten takes her time staging the story, focusing on fine descriptions of her rugged setting and the engaging, tough young detective. In this book, bad things happen more to animals than to people, so critter lovers beware — Tursten’s descriptions of the hunt and related violence are seriously explicit.
Begins slowly and never really picks up the pace. Tursten spends a great deal of time establishing the atmosphere of the hunting camp and surrounding terrain, including what the parties eat for meals and where they relieve themselves when necessary. The snake and fox incidents, along with a clichéd mysterious room in Peter’s house, are intended to build suspense ... Readers who are at all sensitive about animals are advised to give this book a pass. Anything that moves is caught up in the slaughter ... Embla is unfortunately not the memorable, engaging protagonist Tursten wishes her to be. She’s flat and derivative, and if she’s a top-notch criminal investigator, we certainly don’t get a strong sense of that here ... Her unfortunate decision to fall into an intimate relationship with Peter, the primary suspect, is a head-shaker. Tursten’s obviously angling toward readers who enjoy a combination of romance and mystery, but the whole thing comes off as disappointing and distasteful ... Tursten tries to mix so many different flavors into her novel that it simply presents itself as undercooked and unappealing. Hunting Game is variously a dark, brooding Swedish noir crime novel, a titillating romance, and an outdoorsman-type hunting adventure. It takes a shot at each target, but unfortunately misses them all.
In many ways a classic detective novel; its moody atmosphere, measured pacing, and down-to-earth plotting will make it a perfect fit for readers of traditional procedurals. However, thanks to its stellar protagonist, Hunting Game feels decidedly modern as well ... an excellent read from first to last, and the start of a series I will look forward to following ... Much like Embla is a down-to-earth example of a police officer, so too is Hunting Game a down-to-earth mystery ... a nothing-but-the-facts story told with precise, crisp prose ... launches a new series from Tursten, and if Book 1 is any indication, it’s one I will be following closely for many series installments to come.